Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type



Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Major Professor

Frank W. Woods

Committee Members

H. R. DeSelm, C. C. Amundsen, E. R. Buckner


A study was undertaken on a strip mine in Campbell County, Tennessee to determine what site characteristics permit vegetation establishment and growth on some spoils while preventing it on adjacent ones. Fifty plots were established and spoil samples, 300 each on vegetated and nonvegetated spoils, were taken at depths of 0-5 cm, 10-15 cm, and 25-30 cm to be analyzed for pH, Ca, Mg, K, P, Fe, Al, Mn, Zn, compaction, moisture content, surface temperature, and color. It was found that K, P, Mn, and Zn were in the deficiency range of most plants. The solubility of aluminum and iron increases with low pH, thus increasing the probability of their interactions with and decreased availability of other plant nutrients. Applications of dolomitic limestone to some plots increased pH and may have decreased the availability of some nutrients such as iron.

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